As has been reported, the latest "American Idol" tour has had to cancel dates, including the one in Cleveland, with ticket sales lagging. Of course, part of that is the bad economy but part of it also has to be blamed on the show's incredible hubris.
A year ago, the tour played Cleveland's Wolstein Center, which seats about 15,000 for concerts -- and shortly before the show still had not sold out the place. Keep in mind, too, that the 2009 tour included Adam Lambert, one of the most talked-about "Idol" performers in recent years, if not the ultimate winner. Kris Allen, who won, certainly had his partisans, and Allison Iraheta could tear up a vocal.
This time around, "Idol" booked the Quicken Loans Arena, which seats 5,000 more than Wolstein. I thought that sounded nuts when it was announced, since the 2010 cast ended up being very bland overall. Lee DeWyze, the winner, does not strike me as someone who sells tickets -- and as much as I liked Toledo's Crystal Bowersox, the runner-up, I'm more interested in hearing what she does once she's out from under "Idol" than anything she would be stuck with on the tour. As for the rest, they were not even all that memorable, unless you count tattoos and shrieking.
Fill seats for that crew? They might have had trouble even if they had stayed in Wolstein. (Continues after the jump.)
"Idol" seems to have assumed that it could sell tickets on brand name alone, that the quality of contestants did not matter. Declines in ratings and viewing vote totals should have indicated otherwise.
But the show and tour pressed ahead, and now has faced the embarrassment of multiple cancellations -- and the anger of ticked-off fans. Said one on the "Idol" Web site: "We bought tickets for weekend show in Indianapolis (several hours drive for us!)and they changed it to a Tuesday, when our kids are in school. Also booked nonrefundable hotel room. I didn't know they could do that to us. This really stinks. "
All the more reason to rethink the show for next year.